The Summit of the Americas is being held in the US for the first time since 1994 when it was hosted in Los Angeles. Whether Harris would get the chance to demonstrate her clout, remains to be seen, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Harris will be taking on the Herculean task of figuring out the root causes of migration similar to Joe Biden, during his days as a vice president. Leaders in this region are increasingly starting to feel neglected and it shows in the expected low attendance at the summit. Presidents of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras are planning on skipping the Summit of the Americas. Incidentally, these are the only three leaders Harris has met on her two previous trips to the region, as per AP reports.
Harris has been instrumental in helping secure investment commitments of $1.2 billion from different US companies, in those regions of Central America where hundreds of thousands of youth flee gang violence and extreme poverty.
With a goal to stop young Central American adults from leaving their homes, Harris announced last week that the region would get $1.9 billion in additional commitments in order to tap into the private sector to create jobs.
The Summit of the Americas are institutionalised meetings of the heads of state and governments of the Western Hemisphere, according to the official website of the Summit of Americas. It is a platform where leaders discuss common policy issues, reaffirm shared values and recommit themselves to actions on a global and local level to identify and address new challenges faced in the entire region.
As this is an important platform to discuss the future of the region, Harris and President Biden have been working on ensuring that leaders would be attending the summit, especially in light of the US decision to exclude the authoritarian governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from the summit in Los Angeles.
Topics included in Summit of the Americas are: Gender equality and democracy in the 21st century, strengthening regional and national emergency preparedness, improving migrants' integration in the Americas, building sustainable, resilient, and inclusive cities of the future, advancing democratic accountability, human rights and internet, and strengthening the role of environmental defenders in protecting forests from illegal deforestation.
(With inputs from AP.)